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O scale newbie. How do I power a 40-50' layout?

2960 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  [email protected]

I'm a complete rookie here. The last train set I had was N scale about 30 years ago.

Anyway, I have an O scale Polar express set and I am going to build a shelf layout around the perimeter if my kid's room. It will need enough power for lights, smoke, whistles, railroad crossings etc.

How do I get enough power to a layout that big? Will the 80 watt transformer power the whole setup? I was told I should solder or attach jumper wires all the way around, but would like to avoid that.

Someone also told me I can use TMCC and boosters?? How does this work? I don't mind spending the money to do it right (and better) :)


Any tips would be appreciated.
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Thanks Rob, that makes a little more sense. So with regards to these 'power taps', I can just use regular wire and tap into the transformer and then basically daisy chain around the entire layout? I suppose the wire could be tucked to the inside edge of the track. Again, the layout will be above head level, so I don't want any wiring visible under the shelf...

Where the wire connects at each location, does it have to be soldered to both rails, (bridged), so to speak?

I LOVE the idea of cutting tunnels in the drywall to run to other rooms and through closets. Those holes would be easy to close up and patch when we sell. But my wife wouldn't go for that. :( hahaha!

Anymore wiring tips?

Ahh! That makes a lot of sense. I'll visit the train shop and ask about those connectors for Lionel track rather than soldering.

Great tips! Thank you!

Also, can you give me the link to your pictures? Thanks! :)
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